The Wirehaired Vizsla is an exuberant hunter on land or lake, whose dense, wiry coat distinguishes him from his close cousin, the Vizsla. Calm and gentle around the house, these upbeat Hungarians like running, swimming, and upbeat play. WVs are close relatives of Vizslas but a distinctly separate breed. The key distinguishing feature is coat type. Unlike the sleek Vizsla, WVs have a dense wiry coat, with a shaggy beard and eyebrows setting off a bright, lively expression. Both Vizsla breeds are classified as medium-sized, but an ideal WV will stand a shade taller and be a bit heavier than his smooth-coat cousin. The two breeds share the same striking red coloring (golden-rust), with a nose and eyes that smartly complement the coat.
The origins of dogs developed in the 20th century are much better documented than older breeds, so we know in detail of how Wirehaired Vizslas were created in the 1930s. But here’s the short version: Hungarian hunters and falconers wanted a dog with the same drive and versatility of their beloved Vizslas, but with a sturdier frame and a denser coat, the better to work on punishing terrain and in the cold weather of northern Hungary. They achieved this by judicious crosses of Vizslas and German Wirehaired Pointers.
Temperament: loyal / gentle / trainable
Height: 21.5 to 25 inches
Weight: 45 to 65 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
The Wirehaired Vizsla is a generally healthy breed, and responsible breeders screen their breeding stock for health conditions such as hyperuricosuria (susceptibility to kidney and bladder stones), elbow and hip dysplasia, subaortic stenosis, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, and cataracts.
Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club:
- Hip Evaluation
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
The Wirehaired Vizsla is something of a wash-and-wear dog, requiring only minimal grooming to maintain them in good condition. Wiping them down with a damp cloth is usually sufficient in between baths. Using a grooming mitt or shedding knife on their coat during shedding season can help keep down the amount of hair they shed in your home. Toenails should be trimmed every four weeks. Most people find it easiest to do this while the dog is in a tub for his monthly bath. A dental care regimen should be begun early to avoid issues later in life.
The Wirehaired Vizsla is a high-energy dog that needs a lot of exercise. They love being around their people and are happiest doing things together. This makes the breed a great candidate as a canine partner for owners who love to hike, bicycle, or jog. It is imperative that they have opportunities to run freely’¿preferably in a securely fenced area, as their hunting instinct is very strong, and the dog will not be able to resist the urge to pursue prey.
The Wirehaired Vizsla is lively, happy, and eager to please. They have a lot of energy and are very smart but get bored easily. This can sometimes make training a bit difficult, and you must work to keep training sessions fun, interesting, and not too long. They need light but firm and consistent hand in discipline; a Wirehaired Vizsla needs structure and boundaries. He has a soft temperament, and harsh words or physical punishment should be avoided. They have a strong bond with their families and can develop separation anxiety without proper conditioning.
The Wirehaired Vizsla should do well on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared, with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). All high-energy sporting breeds require a nutrient-dense diet when they are working. This food is very different from the food they will need as a puppy, as a sedentary pet, or at various other stages of life. WVs are very food oriented, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.